Revocable trust on a wooden desk.

Changing a Revocable Trust

It is much easier to amend a revocable trust than a will. You cannot make changes to an irrevocable trust, but it is typically a simple matter to update your revocable trust to keep up with events that happen in your life and your finances. There are several options for making changes to a revocable living trust, as long as you have legal capacity when you want to make those amendments.

A New Mexico family law attorney can answer your questions about changing a revocable trust in a way that complies with our state’s laws.

Do You Actually Need to Amend Your Revocable Living Trust?

Sometimes, people think they need to amend a revocable living trust to add assets to it. As long as your trust document contains language that allows you to transfer additional property into it, you can do so without having to amend the trust.

You would need to change the title of the asset into the name of the trust to add that item. It is always a good idea to keep a list of all your assets, including those held by the trust and those outside of the trust, with your trust document.

Understanding Trust Amendments

A trust amendment is a written legal document. It must comply with New Mexico probate code requirements. People typically use a trust amendment for a minor revision, such as adding a new grandchild as a beneficiary.

Other situations in which a person might want to make a trust amendment include:

  • You got married
  • You got divorced
  • You want to change trustees or add a successor trustee
  • You had a child by birth or adoption
  • You want to change the percentage of distributions among the beneficiaries

You should never change anything in your original trust document by lining through words or writing notes on the pages. Also, you should not remove any pages of the original document and substitute new pages. Your beneficiaries could challenge any changes you tried to make using those methods. Also, doing actions like those will make the administration of your trust difficult.

What Are Trust Restatements?

These documents are very similar to trust amendments. In a restatement, you sign a document that says you are making some amendments to your original trust document but not revoking that original trust. You will want to make sure that the restatement document complies with the requirements of our state’s probate code. Also, you do not want to create a long string of amendments and restatements. That situation can create a nightmare for your successor trustee.

When Would You Want to Revoke Your Revocable Living Trust?

If you want to make substantial changes to your trust agreement, you could revoke the trust entirely. You would then have to title all the property back into your name. A trust that no longer exists cannot hold property. You could then create a new revocable living trust and fund it with your assets by titling them in the name of the new trust.

Can Married People Change Their Revocable Living Trusts?

When spouses are co-grantors and co-trustees and manage the trust together, usually either one of you can revoke the trust. If you wish to make changes, you will need to create a written amendment or restatement document that both of you sign.

A New Mexico family law attorney can draft your revocable living trust and make changes to it. Contact our office if you require legal assistance.